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Love is a Choice, Not a Feeling
During the month of February, we’re encouraged to show our love and appreciation for those that are close to us and shower them with affection and perhaps a few gifts as well. No matter how you express your love for someone, remember that to love is a choice, not a feeling.
Many of us have heard people say that they “fell in love” with someone or “fell out of love” with another. And, while your relationship may change from being close as an intimate couple or friend, to not being in relationship at all, love has nothing to do with it.
I believe that to love is to choose to want the highest and best Good for another, regardless of feeling. I remember my mother saying to me when I was really upset with a brother or sister, “You don’t have to like them right now or be happy about what they did, but you must choose to love them.” I didn’t really understand that at the time, but I do now. I have the power to choose to love regardless of my feelings and so do you.
As we contemplate this Creative Universe, and how we were created by something that is greater than ourselves, it’s hard to imagine that this Divine Source would ever “fall out of love” with us and want something less than our highest and best Good. As a parent and/or pet owner, can you imagine ever wanting less than the best for the person or pet that you’re caring for? Even if a child or pet does something that makes you upset, there’s a part of you that still chooses to love them.
What if we decide to make the same choice; to love everyone one else in our world? No matter what they do that might upset us, could we choose to love them anyway? That doesn’t mean that we’re thrilled with their actions all of the time. And, in fact, they might even do something that we think is downright awful and for which they should be punished in accordance with the law and society’s moral and ethical standards. In spite of their terrible behavior, could you make the choice to love them anyway – to want the highest and best Good for them? I hope so because you will receive more love into your if you do.
There are some additional benefits that you can experience if you make the choice to love:
- You will grow spiritually as you operate in integrity.
The Law of Cause and Effect, Karma, and Sowing and Reaping have proven that “as you give out, you will receive the same and more.” How have you felt when you have been so angry with someone that you said “I don’t love you anymore”? Most of us don’t feel very happy in that kind of situation. If we make the choice to love, to want the highest and best good for another, then our decision to not be in a close relationship with them anymore won’t make us feel so bad. I know a woman who chooses to love even when ending intimate relationships. In ending a past relationship, she said with honesty, “I feel that I’ve grown and changed and find that I’m spending more time pursuing these others areas of interest now. We don’t seem to have as much in common anymore, so I’m going to end our intimate relationship and free us both up to experience a higher and greater good in our lives.” Although she felt sad about the change in the relationship, and it was difficult to have the conversation with her friend, she felt that she operated in integrity for both hers and her friend’s higher and greater good. She conveyed her message with love and truth and grew in her understanding that there was nothing to feel bad about. Author Gary Zukav tells us, “The hardest times to choose love are the very times when you can most grow spiritually. In fact, they are the only times you can grow spiritually!” To love is part of growing. Choose love.
- You will feel more connected to everyone with more love in your life.
Imagine for a moment that we are all connected. When I was a little girl growing up in Hawaii, I had a lot of friends and neighbors who were from different backgrounds.One of my best friends was a boy from Tonga and we saw each other at school and the beach almost every day. Since my dad was a doctor, many kids that got hurt at the beach would stop by our home to get help after an accident with a surf board or other toy.My friend got hurt one day and I noticed at 7 years old that all of us, no matter how different we seemed, had the same color blood. I had an innate sense that we were all made from the same stuff.
Because of my Catholic upbringing, my justification for this was that God created us all and was our Father.There was nothing that I or anyone else could do to not be loved by our Father. I knew that there were consequences for our actions, but God’s choice to love each of us didn’t change. That seeming truth evolved into believing that all of the peoples in the world were related to me since we all had the same Father.Even if I didn’t like some of my “brothers and sisters” actions, I was still obligated to love them - like my Mother told me I had to do with my family siblings. This idea that we’re all part of one creative Source is a wonderful justification in your choice to love everyone. A successful musician who has chosen to love in spite of how she’s been treated as different in the past is Melissa Etheridge, and she has this to say, “There is no fear when you choose love. The more you choose love, the more love is in your life. It gets easier and easier.” As you give out love, it will return to you and get easier to do over time.
- You will feel less fear and more peace.
I know a man who spends a lot of time judging others and their behaviors. He seems upset often when describing how terrible life is because of the actions of others in government, the community, at work, and even driving on the road to and from work.This man doesn’t recognize that as he is focusing on what’s wrong with everyone else, and how terrible life can be with others making decisions that he doesn’t agree with, he is actually attracting that which he doesn’t want to happen into his life.If we choose to love everyone, in spite of their behaviors, and recognize that we have a tremendous amount of power to create the life that we want to live, we will feel more at peace.
Each and every one of us has the power to use our words, thoughts and emotions to describe the life that we want to live.If we choose to do that for more than 50% of our day, we will begin to shift things and notice evidence that the life that we want is manifesting.As we begin to realize what is important to us, other things that used to bother us will fade away. One of my favorite quotes is from an 1800’s politician, Jack Layton who said “My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we'll change the world.” Making the choice to love and focusing your words, thoughts and emotions on what you’d like as the highest and best experience for all will change your world.
We all get to make choices about what’s important to us. Your words, thoughts and emotions are valuable tools in achieving the success that you desire. Try speaking powerful love statements out loud throughout the day to realize more love in your life: “I’m so grateful that I am a perfect expression of love in action. I love everyone and everyone loves me. I bless everyone and everyone blesses me. I forgive everyone and everyone forgives me. All in our world are loved, blessed and forgiven.” As you choose to love and focus more of your words, thoughts, and emotions on what you want to experience, rather than what you don’t want, you’ll start to notice more possibilities that are in line with your desires. I love you and want you to enjoy the life that you want to live! You can learn more success principles in my book and at www.maymccarthy.com.
You can learn more success principles in my book, The Path to Wealth; Seven Spiritual Steps for Financial Abundance. www.bizzultz.com/book